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Bee Balm: Monarda didyma

Botanical name: Monarda didyma

Common name: Bee Balm

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created by:
in the weeds

Austin, Tx

at a glance

Soil: damp, acidic, loam
Zones: 4a thru 9b

deer resistant, bird attracting, butterfly attracting, hummingbird attracting, bee attracting, edible, drought tolerant

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description for "Bee Balm: Monarda didyma"

Scarlet Bee Balm is great addition to the herb garden or perennial bed. Settlers used tea made from its leaves in place of black tea at the famous Boston Tea Party. Bees love this plant for the nectar it produces thus the reason for it's common name of bee balm. Hummingbirds and butterflies alike love the red tubular flowers produced throughout the summer. Regular deadheading can extend the flowering period be several weeks. This hardy perennial plant grows to 12-24 inches in height, with the stems square in cross-section. The leaves on Bee Balm are dark green with reddish leaf veins and a coarsely-toothed margin; they are glabrous (smooth) or sparsely pubescent above, with spreading hairs below. Edited by H. Harris


Beebalm has a long history of use as a medicinal plant by many Native Americans, including the Blackfeet. The Blackfeet Indians recognized this plant's strong antiseptic action, and used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor wounds. A tea made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Beebalm is the natural source of the antiseptic thymol, the primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas. The Winnebago used a tea made from beebalm as a general stimulant. It was also used as a carminative herb by Native Americans to treat excessive flatulence

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